When people think about CBD, they picture its close cousin, marijuana. However, there’s very little that the two have in common regarding how they feel.
Sure they come from the same species. But cannabis gets you high – and CBD does not.
But CBD does change the way you feel. Let’s look a little deeper into how CBD makes you feel…
CBD Is Different From THC
Let’s get this out of the way…
Whether or not you’ve ever smoked cannabis or been around anyone who smoked, everyone is aware that the bud or flower causes a high feeling.
Processed by a different method, CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant rather than the cannabis plant. CBD can be taken from the cannabis plant, but this plant is generally high in THC which is hard to separate from CBD.
Hemp plants, on the other hand, don’t have the THC and therefore don’t require the expensive manufacturing process required to separate the two.
CBD, like THC, binds to receptors in the brain, but that’s where any similarity ends. CBD binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, which helps with pain, relaxing anxiety, relieving nausea, and much more.
CBD Reduces Anxiety
First, let’s examine the part of the brain dealing with anxiety. Two parts of the brain are involved: the amygdala and the hippocampus. The amygdala is shaped like an almond and just as small. It receives incoming signals that something is happening that will require fight or flight.
The hippocampus then swings into action by turning the event that caused the anxiety into a memory. The next time this event happens, the brain will immediately kick in with an anxiety response.
Once this threat perception is received, the brain takes care of it with substances like cortisol and norepinephrine. These are the “fight or flight” hormones flooding our bodies at the sign of a threat. The heart will beat faster, and breathing will increase, which gets oxygenated blood into the body.
Recent studies show that CBD decreases symptoms of many types of anxiety including PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, general anxiety, and anxiety-caused sleep disorder. A 2010 study showed that CBD interacted with the parts of the brain dealing with anxiety, easing the stress on the test subjects.
Chemical medications suppress the anxiety reaction. The medications don’t entirely subdue the anxiety, though. Add to this fact that they have so many side effects, people are turning to natural remedies for relief. CBD makes these people feel more like normal.
There is a question of dosage. The generally held opinion is to go low and slow. In other words, take a low dosage (generally around 5 mg) at first. Raise the dosage each day until relief is found. Slowly raising the dosage to the level that you experience relief is recommended, because higher dosages have seen more success in studies.
The reason you start slow is not because you get high or feel weird. It’s mostly because you may experience relief on lower amounts with no need to go higher.
CBD Takes The Edge Off
Stress is different from anxiety. It affects the same part of the brain, and the same hormones are released in answer to a stressful situation. Stress has been shown to make the brain shrink and kill brain cells when it’s sustained for prolonged periods of time.
Paired with the cortisol released in a stressful situation, the brain can’t work effectively. Depression, Alzheimer’s disease, other mental health issues, and wear and tear on the organ are the results. Physically, the immune system suffers from stress as well as the body running the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
CBD takes the edge off all this. When CBD hits the brain, it bonds with CB1 receptors there. The stress hormone cortisol is subdued. Suddenly, the brain and body are calm. Suddenly, the stress isn’t so bad. Added to this, CBD won’t show up on a drug test, so taking it at work will help the stress and may even improve your productivity.
CBD Relieves Pain
A lot of people read that we have an endocannabinoid system in our bodies. Nine out of ten people have never heard of it.
Why they ask, haven’t we heard of this before? How long has it been known? Science has known about the endocannabinoid system since the early 1900s.
When something happens to the body, a twisted knee or ankle or being body slammed for some reason, the nerves at the scene of the injury send a message through the central nervous system to the brain. The brain then instructs the immune system to speed relief for the pain.
CBD reacts with the nerves beneath the skin or CB2 receptors. The nerves will send no message to the brain. The pain will be dealt with at the spot in which the CBD was rubbed. The immune system will send its own hormones to help with the pain as well. If it was swallowed, the CBD will rush to the painful area and begin to work.
CBD oil stimulates the endocannabinoid system to make its own cannabidiol. The body can then manage its own pain without the need for pain killers and things like that.
CBD is an anti-inflammatory. Swelling is the first reaction the body uses to prevent further injury. It’s also quite painful.
CBD oil reduces the swelling, so the pain diminishes. Many chronic pain sufferers prefer natural remedies such as CBD oil, because the side effects are few if any, nor are they addictive. Capsules, tinctures, and topical creams are recommended for those with chronic pain.
CBD Boosts Energy
With stress under control, users should sleep better. If you’re not sleeping well, CBD will help you sleep. Restful sleep gives the body a chance to restore its energy, heal itself, and prepare the mind for another day. You’ll feel more alive and more like yourself all day. CBD won’t give you a rush and then drop you as energy drinks will.
CBD Improves Sleep
The National Institutes of Health tells us of studies on rats about CBD influence on sleeping and the sleep-wake cycle. The studies show that CBD increases the length of sleep as well as influencing the wake impulse. The studies also showed that higher doses help you sleep better, whereas lower doses help you stay awake.
CBD Helps You Feel More Like Yourself
More and more people are feeling some sort of normality or more like themselves after taking CBD for a few weeks. Some, though, are still feeling stressed and lacking sleep. It’s important to begin with low doses and slowly, each day, increase the dosage until the results you’re looking for manifest. For example, higher dosages of CBD help you sleep, while low ones help to keep you awake.
CBD Vaping vs Drops vs Capsules
For those with anxiety, depression, or sleep-related problems, vaping CBD would be the quickest answer. Inhaling CBD gets its healing effects into the brain inside ten to thirty seconds. Vape pens are easy to carry and use as well as not being regulated like smoking areas are regulated. This is because they emit vapor instead of smoke.
Drops or tinctures are used by dropping CBD directly into the mouth. The drops can be mixed in a liquid like tea or coffee. This gets the CBD into the bloodstream inside 10 to 15 minutes. Those suffering chronic pain will appreciate the speed of pain relief and you can take higher doses of CBD from this method.
Capsules might be easier for some people to take. The snag to that is that when something enters the body, it’s processed through the liver. Nutrients are then passed to the digestive system. Only when this has been passed do the nutrients get to wherever they’re needed the most. It takes between 45 and 60 minutes to metabolize.
For people who need more immediate relief, capsules shouldn’t be considered. They work, mind you, just not as as fast. The benefit being that, if you need higher doses, you can take a 25 mg capsule or several and you know how much you’re getting with each one.
(Related: Best Way To Take CBD Oil: Top 4 Ways & What They’re Good For)
CBD Side Effects
A study was done by the World Health Organization or WHO found that people generally tolerated CBD with no serious changes in the body’s functions, no toxicity, and no side effects.
However, for those sensitive to CBD, then the side effects range from mild to serious. Mild side effects include loss of appetite, drowsiness and/or lightheadedness, nausea, and a general feeling of not being well.
More serious side effects are for those whose health problems are equally serious. CBD has an ill effect on Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, if you’ve had a heart attack, then talk to your cardiac expert before taking CBD. This author’s cardiac doctor said taking CBD was okay following her heart attack. Some blood pressure medications interact with CBD. Be safe and check first.
CBD is a natural substance generally derived from the hemp plant. It has been used in health care for thousands of years. It helps with chronic pain, arthritis, sleep problems, anxiety, stress, treating cancer, and heart disease among other health concerns.
It won’t get you high. That’s THC, and it comes from another part of the cannabis plant. CBD helps with pain and anxiety without the fuzzy feelings in the mind.
Taken orally, CBD has a pleasant, nutty, earthy flavor. It can be dropped beneath the tongue, mixed with your smoothie, coffee, tea, or other drink. It comes in capsules, vape pen cartridges, topical creams, and dozens of other applications. Try some today.